List Poem of Reasons Why Summer

is going to be mine this year. Because I will finally wear the sun
dress I bought last year. Because we beat the apple snail seeds to their
death beneath the canopy of lotus leaves. Kept promises to get out
of the house, even when the heatwaves swallowed up our heaven-
facing peppers. Because we stayed out for the barbeque long enough
to call it a day, fine, we’ll order in. It’s just as good, just as
summer should be. Gunflint sheen with wonder. Summer abundant
with truffle cheese melting on our charcuterie board. Summer sizzling
fever heat. Summer catching my dress in the bike cassette, ripping off
the frill trim on my birthday. Because it has to be mine, or else nothing
will be. Because decadelong houses fold into cicadas. Because the limping
black dog we named fast as wind was put down by the neighborhood. Things
like this pass and fade with fall every year. Because they have to. Because summer
delirious with departure, baffle for beginnings. Summer where the cold is creeping
back into rivers twist like veins. Summer we should do something about our feet
swaying in greywater. Summer God, get a grip on yourself. Summertime moon-
struck in the swollen throat of disaster. Mouth full of wasps we swore were bees.


breakfast sonnet

for every early morning there is marinated Campari,
capocollo, & the chicory only my grandmother eats &
promises she loves because they taste plum-sour like
the laba garlic or mustard stem we’re forced to spit
& slug on sleepy days. for every lazy morning past six
there is instead a new anecdote split like cloves on the counter:
your father hoarded half-life gourds through biting cold,
let their creases blanch and bitter his tongue, but you won’t
even start your congee. or: i bit my first chicken heart like
testing gold, held death in teeth & kept eating, yet you can’t
look duck in their skewered eyes. but i see the way my grandma
watches us fail to finish meals, stilling before steak but
beating us for fussing over food, how badly she needs to
believe the best plate at the table is furthest from her own.

Mimi Yang currently resides in Shanghai, but she has lived in Boston and Montreal. Her work has been recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, and appears or is forthcoming in The Margins, Palette Poetry, Rust & Moth, and elsewhere. 


Photography by: Alessandra Caretto


two poems

by Mimi Yang

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